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GeoffandWendy

North Walsham & Dilham Canal

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I am pleased to hear progress is being made!! 

I wait to see how successful the honesty system works - will this be adopted by the other extensions to Broadland rivers such as the Waveney and the Bure or are they different I wonder.

 

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will this be adopted by the other extensions to Broadland rivers such as the Waveney and the Bure or are they different I wonder.

Who knows?  Extensions to the Waveney and the Bure are currently not undergoing restoration as far as I am aware as of yet? - But we can live in hope

Griff

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Two new members on the same page?  Welcome Graham P and thanks for joining us.  Proper chuffed we have a member of the NW&DC trust onboard, especially as you will be able to put many rumours and myths to bed

Fenland Skies - Proper good name imho, welcome onboard too

Griff

 

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Thanks, I'm a Trustee too of the NW&DCT

Really? - Bargain, two for the price of one then :default_beerchug:

Griff

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I did wonder why I had spent a lot of time this evening approving new members :default_biggrin:

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22 minutes ago, grendel said:

I did wonder why I had spent a lot of time this evening approving new members :default_biggrin:

I do find it amusing seeing members join and last post on the same day, and those joining just for their own means!!!!

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I think the two new members have put some excellent posts, and should be encouraged to keep with us. Not just for the NWDC issue, but also to add their input to other navigational issues. To have two such members who are dedicated to restoring an important historic part of the Broads, and a wealth of knowledge in what`s required to deal with legal issues etc, it must surely be beneficial to the forum, and us members.

Welcome to forum chaps, and please stay and get involved in other discussions and even NBN meets and gatherings.

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2 hours ago, Bayleaf said:

A very interesting discussion but could anyone please clear up one point.The East Anglian Waterways Website http://www.eawa.co.uk/walsham-2.html clearly states 

"The 1812 Act contains a special provision preventing the original canal company from charging any tolls or dues "For any Boat, Barge , or Vessel which shall be navigated or pass upon any part of the river Ant which at the Time of passing this Act is navigable to Dilham:"

I have to admit that I had not spotted that in the context we are currently discussing. My fault! Sorry! The original context was that of Dilham Mill, the connection with The Broads it had already. I guess that is why Luke keeps his toll request voluntary. Let's face it, the costs to him don't diminish any in the light of this, correct, quote from The 1812 Act.  At the same time, I also wonder what the Toll House was doing at Tonnage Bridge with that in mind?

 

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8 hours ago, grendel said:

done

 

Many thanks

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8 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

I think the two new members have put some excellent posts, and should be encouraged to keep with us. Not just for the NWDC issue, but also to add their input to other navigational issues. To have two such members who are dedicated to restoring an important historic part of the Broads, and a wealth of knowledge in what`s required to deal with legal issues etc, it must surely be beneficial to the forum, and us members.

Welcome to forum chaps, and please stay and get involved in other discussions and even NBN meets and gatherings.

Cant agree more.

Very warm welcome to the forum GrahamP and FenlandSkies.

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we look forward to hearing more about the project and do keep us informed about any projects that need volunteers to assist, I am sure we have many members here that would be happy to help such a project.

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20 hours ago, BroadAmbition said:

The water flow was sufficient to run and operate numerous water powered mills, and allow wherries through the locks numerous times per day.

This is a very good forum discussion and very good news. Too many of our navigations have closed recently or are at risk of silting up having "fallen into disuse" so it is good to hear of the possible re-opening of one of Norfolk's most famous waterways.

I just want to mention that the flow of water in the old days was sufficient for a commercial waterway, as you lose a lot less water in the canal by locking down a loaded wherry, than you do for small cruisers or dinghies. Archimedes Principle - "Eureka" and all that!

I hope the water flow will now prove sufficient for regular trips through the locks by small craft.

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The old boatman also used the locks in the most water efficient manner.

I remember going upstream on the RGO in 2004. No boats were coming down for miles and miles. I must have sent millions of litres on it's way as I emptied lock after lock to gain entry and make progress.

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"The 1812 Act contains a special provision preventing the original canal company from charging any tolls or dues "For any Boat, Barge , or Vessel which shall be navigated or pass upon any part of the river Ant which at the Time of passing this Act is navigable to Dilham:"

Now I'm just posting my opinion here not any facts or proper knowledge.  That part of the act you have correctly quoted  I'm assuming is still in force directed at the Old Canal Company.  The section of the canal that Luke Patterson now owns is obviously not owned by the Old Canal Company it is owned by him so therefore does it apply to him?

Also is not that act directed at just the section for what was the mill at Dilham not the whole canal for its full length?  Graham should be able to shed some light on this one?

--------------------------------------------------------------

From what I have learnt with my discussions with Graham, Luke didn't actually buy the canal.  He bought the farm and farm land subsequently meaning he inherited that section of the canal and also inheriting the responsibility to maintain it as he sees fit or otherwise.  Does he have a legal responsibility to maintain the canal to any sort of minimum standard?  I don't know.  What I do know is that to bring his section of the waterway up to a navigable standard clear of any trees or below water hazards is going to cost money & time - Lots of it

What I assume is that Luke is on limited funds available to him - who isn't?  He's running a business not a charity to enhance derelict waterways.    So any work done on the canal itself has to be funded by him with no financial return on his outlay.  The toll he asks for is voluntary not compulsory.  The more £4's he receives in his honesty box, then the more £4's he can spend on the canal work.  You can safely bet he will end up outlaying way more than the total of the £4's he receives - Rocket science it ain't!

We, as NBN Forumites could collectively no doubt organise a work party and take it upon ourselves to assist with tree / fauna clearance between say Tonnage Bridge to Honing lock.  BUT we would need Luke's permission and maybe Luke is independent and doesn't want to be held beholden to anyone and wants to do it himself when funds / time allows?  I need to get the message over to him that we don't expect any favours in return but would like to and enjoy helping making a difference

At some point I want to contact Luke and offer him our help, when I say 'Our' I just mean willing volunteers from the NBN not the whole membership of course.  But first off I need to learn more about his section of the waterway and find out what sort of guy Luke is to give us the best chance of being able to assist and make a real impact for all waterway users to benefit and enjoy.

Any thoughts / advice sent in my direction would be most welcome.  Does anyone in here know the guy?  Has anyone used his glamping / camping facilities?  Over to you guys as per the norm,

 

Griff

 

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I have now had the opportunity to ask our Chairman for the official North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust line on this question. It is as follows:-

    The NW&DC is a privately owned Canal, with four different ownerships. The Trust is working with the various owners to aid them with their plans to encourage more use of the Canal. The Lower Canal was sold by the NWCanal Co. in 1981 and is owned by Bindwell, who offer permissive access to private users and are working to improve access to boaters, in particular kayaks and canoeists, plus the provision of moorings for private craft, along their length.  Additionally they have provided the provision of portaging points around the NWCCo's Honing Lock, and have also undertaken bushing and the removal of fallen trees so as to enable easier access for users. All of these works require funding, but do not generate income. 
     
    The NW&DC had always been a Canal that has encouraged both pleasure as well as commercial traffic. Edward Press converted six wherries for pleasure use in the late nineteenth century, and the Sale Particulars of 1907 also emphasised this aspect. In those days tolls were collected first at Tonnage Bridge and later at the Honing Lock Cottage. Today's Canal Owners still have the legal right to charge tolls, which is reasonable - one pays to take one's car onto a private car park or visit a National Trust property. I have an EA Boat licence for the Great Ouse, but have to pay a toll to the River Cam Commissioners to travel towards Cambridge.  However, to employ a tollkeeper would not be economical. In the case of the Lower Canal, Bindwell have set up an honesty box, and ask users to donate for use of their section of the Canal - a voluntary toll. 

    For your information - this is the sign at the Canal's entrance:
     
image002.png.4d636825edbf5ef3f2a5ce1ad70e9708.png

This allows you to access the Lower Canal, with a diversion to the East Ruston Branch - where , luckily, the  Butcher's Arms has just re-opened and would  welcome you to that village.. Alternatively/also you can continue to Honing Lock and make use of Bindwell's portaging points to access the Middle Canal. Passing the Canal Camping site (www.canalcamping.co.uk) at Dilham you can then turn right, after Dee Bridge, into Honing Staithe Cut (2.4 miles).The Cut was restored by the Trust some ten years ago, and recently the Trust, working in conjunction with the NWCCo, the owners, have returned to undertake some remedial work. It's also a good place to stop and picnic before your return journey.

 

The toll jetty is on the left, with a notice, as you approach Tonnage Bridge. Suggested Tolls are £4 per canoe. Unfortunately, hire canoeists were not paying the tolls, and alternative arrangements with the hire company fell through. So you will need to bring your own craft.

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Hi Graham, 

Do you think the NWDC will ever get back to full navigation?. I have two ambitions in life, one is to be able to ride a motorbike around Brands Hatch on my 100th Birthday, and the other is to be able to cruise up the canal in a proper cruiser. The canal was designed for boats with a beam of around 14ft (wherries) so it would be absolutely amazing to take Lightning up there. The other thing is, do you have an approximate time scale as to when it is fully open?. 

I`m hoping we can get to join one of the work parties when we`re up there later this year. 

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From my recollection the locks are slightly narrower - I thought they were around 12'?

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Honestly SPEEDWELL, it just isn't possible to say. If I were to have my way it wouldn't be long at all. However, there are problems to solve. The most challenging of these is the full re-watering of and public access to the 2 lengths between Honing and Briggate and Briggate to Ebridge. That's not something appropriate for me to discuss on a public forum. 

I am confident that travelling the length between Bacton Wood and Royston Bridge is imminent. Then there is the matter of having Royston Bridge restored or replaced, because it has been lowered. NCC say they will do that when they can afford so to do. I am of the view that once the section from Bacton Wood to Swafield is re-watered, that won't be too long. Let's face it, they will have to be portaging the weed-cutter, at least, till they do. That will give us about 2.6 miles from Ebridge to Swafield.

There is already the 2.24 mile bottom end from Wayford to Honing, which is increasingly passable, thanks to Luke Patterson, 2.6 miles thanks to Laurie Ashton, so that's 4.84 miles ish., who has built a full set of lock gates and major brickwork at Bacton Wood, only leaving 2.9 miles and 2 locks to get sorted, once the above are all up and running. My feeling is that what has been achieved so far is a good indicator of the long term possibilities. The only problem is that I cannot promise anything. What you may like to note is that, as examples of what can be and has already been achieved is that Bacton Wood Lock has been restored by Laurie, NWDCT are fitting new Top lock gates at Ebridge lock on 2nd July, all being well (I will post  a photo of some of the brickwork we have done, in the past few weeks there), there are plans afoot for Bottom Gates at Ebridge in the foreseeable future (maybe even later this year - no promises!), and Laurie has de-silted his 2.6 miles and repaired banks as necessary. If that much can be done, there is no practical reason why the rest can't be.

As a boatman regularly boating the Ebridge pound, what I can say is that motor boats at 4mph would do much damage to the earthen banks designed and intended for use by slow sailing wherries. I never travel at more than 2mph and slower in narrow places. There are a number of possibilities. Could motor boaters be trusted to keep speeds to as low as 2mph? That might be OK, with regular bank maintenance (which would have to be done at some cost). If not, either they would have to be prevented from using the canal or be guided by a pilot, perhaps, or perhaps allowed on specified days in groups to share costs. Even then, there would have to be a toll sufficient to pay for the cost of maintenance and pilot's wages. That toll, in today's money, might have to be as much as £12.5 per mile, just to cover the cost of a pilot, unless volunteers could be found every time a motor boat wanted to travel. I'm only thinking out loud! I don't yet have a solution, is what I really mean. Suggestions or ideas welcome! As to canoes and sailing boats, that might be hugely cheaper, because they are both slower and make less wash. Even the smallest ripple cuts some bank away. That's why we have to be so careful. Of course, encouraging reeds in the banks mitigates to an extent, but before you know it, they go all the way across and have to be managed.

20190602_161540_resized.thumb.jpg.f6e2a6990c6a43782fed93b38da396eb.jpg

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The locks and bridge holes are 14ft x 60ft nominal. I know because I have measured them) The draught is 4'6" over the sills. The bridge height is 8'6" to the centre of the arch.

The 24 ton northern broads wherries were no more than 50ft x 12'6" (some, mainly those going to Antingham, were only 18 tons), so there were rubbing bars in the locks, which reduced the beam by about a foot. I THINK they were a retro-fit, but I cannot be sure.

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2 hours ago, GrahamP said:

Honestly SPEEDWELL, it just isn't possible to say. If I were to have my way it wouldn't be long at all. However, there are problems to solve. The most challenging of these is the full re-watering of and public access to the 2 lengths between Honing and Briggate and Briggate to Ebridge. That's not something appropriate for me to discuss on a public forum. 

I am confident that travelling the length between Bacton Wood and Royston Bridge is imminent. Then there is the matter of having Royston Bridge restored or replaced, because it has been lowered. NCC say they will do that when they can afford so to do. I am of the view that once the section from Bacton Wood to Swafield is re-watered, that won't be too long. Let's face it, they will have to be portaging the weed-cutter, at least, till they do. That will give us about 2.6 miles from Ebridge to Swafield.

There is already the 2.24 mile bottom end from Wayford to Honing, which is increasingly passable, thanks to Luke Patterson, 2.6 miles thanks to Laurie Ashton, so that's 4.84 miles ish., who has built a full set of lock gates and major brickwork at Bacton Wood, only leaving 2.9 miles and 2 locks to get sorted, once the above are all up and running. My feeling is that what has been achieved so far is a good indicator of the long term possibilities. The only problem is that I cannot promise anything. What you may like to note is that, as examples of what can be and has already been achieved is that Bacton Wood Lock has been restored by Laurie, NWDCT are fitting new Top lock gates at Ebridge lock on 2nd July, all being well (I will post  a photo of some of the brickwork we have done, in the past few weeks there), there are plans afoot for Bottom Gates at Ebridge in the foreseeable future (maybe even later this year - no promises!), and Laurie has de-silted his 2.6 miles and repaired banks as necessary. If that much can be done, there is no practical reason why the rest can't be.

As a boatman regularly boating the Ebridge pound, what I can say is that motor boats at 4mph would do much damage to the earthen banks designed and intended for use by slow sailing wherries. I never travel at more than 2mph and slower in narrow places. There are a number of possibilities. Could motor boaters be trusted to keep speeds to as low as 2mph? That might be OK, with regular bank maintenance (which would have to be done at some cost). If not, either they would have to be prevented from using the canal or be guided by a pilot, perhaps, or perhaps allowed on specified days in groups to share costs. Even then, there would have to be a toll sufficient to pay for the cost of maintenance and pilot's wages. That toll, in today's money, might have to be as much as £12.5 per mile, just to cover the cost of a pilot, unless volunteers could be found every time a motor boat wanted to travel. I'm only thinking out loud! I don't yet have a solution, is what I really mean. Suggestions or ideas welcome! As to canoes and sailing boats, that might be hugely cheaper, because they are both slower and make less wash. Even the smallest ripple cuts some bank away. That's why we have to be so careful. Of course, encouraging reeds in the banks mitigates to an extent, but before you know it, they go all the way across and have to be managed.

20190602_161540_resized.thumb.jpg.f6e2a6990c6a43782fed93b38da396eb.jpg

Hi Graham,

Many thanks for your swift reply.  Re tolls, yeah, why not, if it`s keeping a vital and historic waterway open, and the possibilty of regenerating income in village shops, pubs etc, and maybe even charge a small fee for overnight mooring, you may find it a good source of necessary income.  If it were to become fully re-opened in 5 - 10 years say, i`d be very happy to pay a toll for the length of the canal.  At say £12 per mile, that would equate around £50 per boat. If you had about 1000 boat trips a year, that`s £50,000. Imagine how many hireboats there are, especially from Stalham, and you had say 20% of them every week for a season, that`s a lot of money, somewhere around the £3,500 pounds mark. Now multiply that by 26 weeks, and you come out over £80,000. And that`s just one fleet. Add a percentage of all the others, and that`s a very healthy, and vital income to help with maintainance of the canal, things like strengthening the banks etc.

As for speeding boats, well, that`s always going to be a problem, but why not have some form of speed recognition and fine those that abuse it?.

As for not wanting to publicise operational etc issues, that we can understand and would`nt want to press you on it, as it may damage the restoration process and progress.

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I don't know if it's OK for me to post this, but no doubt it can be removed if inappropriate

 60346123_2161176807323094_7063346607609085952_n.thumb.jpg.d6b473a683bb8e3edc490d755d82b097.jpg

It would be wonderful if we could meet some of you there.

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Graham,

I am so chuffed you are onboard (Pun intended) the NBN especially with regards to updating and educating us re NWDC,  :default_icon_bowdown: especially dispelling some of the many myths / rumours - I too had mistakenly thought the maximum lock width was 12ft but hoped it wasn't and now overjoyed to have just that one myth dispelled and I'm sure they'll be others

(I got that mistaken impression ages ago due to reading about it somewhere or t'other on one of the boaty forums - obviously written by someone who thought they knew but obviously didn't!)

I find the restoration of the NWDC fascinating and really do want to get involved.  My issue is time and distance, both restrict me more than I am happy with but life is what it is.

£50 toll to cruise the whole length?

Discovering new overnight moorings, villages, pubs / shops. fishing hotspots etc - Count me and Broad Ambition firmly 'In'

It too for me has been a long standing bucket list to cruise 'B.A' up to Antingham.

And - If SpeedTriple really is riding his bike around  Brands Hatch on his 100th Birthday, then I'll join him on my mighty Tiger - that'll put me at about 80 odd eh? :default_norty:

Keep on posting Graham - including photo's - Your a star mate

Griff

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I don't know if it's OK for me to post this, but no doubt it can be removed if inappropriate

I very much doubt it is inappropriate, one of our 'Peskies'  will be in touch, if not assume it's ok

That's a right bu66er isn't it? 12th June being a Wednesday, if I finish work early,  say around 1700, get on the mighty Tiger, depart at say 1800, that gives me 30 mins to cover 160-odd miles - not a prayer, not even on the Tiger.  Is there maybe a chance that after the 12th the film can be uploaded to youtube for the rest of us further afield anoraks to see it?

Griff

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